Sunday, September 2, 2018

Tehuacan 2.0

My return to Tehuacan was delayed by a quick stop in Cancun for a week. Sure, not the worst place to wind down after 18 months in Asia and I had been here before when I left Tehuacan a couple of years ago. I stopped here because flights from London fly direct to Cancun (no stops in the USA which is important for me). If I was thinking at the time, I would have stopped for a night near the ADO bus terminal and then head to Merida or somewhere I have never been. Regardless, I found a cheap hotel downtown with a single room for $20 a night. There is a local bus for $.50 that will take me to the hotel / beach strip in about 30 minutes and cheap and delicious food all over the downtown area. What's not to love?

A bit of sun tanning, lounging by the pool, splashing in the ocean and swimming with whale sharks capped a fun filled week. There were decent chicken wings, cold delicious beer and many, many tacos. I understand that when booking a trip to Cancun the usual choice is to check into an all inclusive beach front hotel in the hotel zone. After all, you work hard and come vacation time you want comfort and 5 star service. If you want to change your habits, and challenge yourself a bit and save a shit-ton of money find a cheap flight, book into a decent downtown hotel and change your experience. You might be surprised that you enjoy yourself more.

Now swimming with whale sharks was not even on my radar. Then I read that this was the season of their migration and tours were available. The decision took about 1 second to make. Swimming/cage diving with Great Whites is high on my agenda. Whale sharks would do for now. Let's just say it was as incredible as you could imagine. The boat trip was a bit long and bumpy, about 90 minutes out past Isle Mujeres. You teamed up with a "dive buddy" from the boat. When a shark was spotted and it was your turn, you slipped into the water and there it was, a 40 foot fish no more that 15 feet away.

They are docile and seem slow moving but I was swimming like a crazy man just trying to keep up. I did not take any pictures but did take a few videos. This one is raw and uncut and the best I could do considering the situation. Ultimately I wanted to enjoy the experience, not spend my time trying to capture it.

I took my flight from Cancun to Puebla, a taxi to the ADO bus station and then the 2 hour ride into Tehuacan. I was met at the airport by Matt Poy, the Teaching Supervisor who I will be replacing in January. He is a good dude and I do consider him a good friend. He dropped me off at the teachers house where I lived before, gave me my keys and off I went. I wandered the familiar streets, noticed the small changes and met people who remembered me.

The first excursion made was to the recently opened pyramids in old Tehuacan in Tehuacan Viejo, about a 20 minute combi ride from the city centre. The ruins themselves are small when comparing them to PalenqueChitzen Itza or Tulum, however this area of Mexico was critically important for the Poco Loca Indians and then the Atzecs. There are deep caverns of fresh water from the natural run off from Popocatépetl near Puebla. A very active and gorgeous volcano.

When you hike in the surrounding hills the trail is littered with broken pottery shards. It's odd, you can pick these pieces of history up but most people, myself included, are not compelled to put them into their pockets. They toss them back onto the trail where they belong. I will take a few photos next time I head out. It is estimated that there are over 200 temples and pyramids in the surrounding area. As with every other archaeological site in Central America, money is a huge factor. There is not enough to uncover the treasures that lay beneath the soil. Hopefully Tehuacan draws the attention of the Universities and clubs that fund such projects. For now, visit this site and support its growth.

I don't know why I have taken to Tehuacan. Don't get me wrong, there is not a long term plan to stay here. Let's call it a mid term plan. I honestly think I returned to regroup and plan things moving forward. I do believe that there is something here in Mexico waiting for me, ready to take me in a new direction. I am 100% sure it is not here in Tehuacan but this is where I need to be for now. Lets see how it goes.

I did write quite a bit about Tehuacan in the past. Here is the link to my first post.

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